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TITLES OF HONOR
London: by William Stansby for Richard Whitakers, 1631. The second edition of the work which earned Selden the praise of Ben Jonson, with expanded discourses on England that carried contemporary political ramifications. With the engraved bookplate of Theophilus Desbrisay. With engraved title in red and black, engraved initials and illustrations within the text. Thick 4to, bound in contemporary full calf, the boards framed with a double-rule in blind, the spine with raised bands and with a red morocco label lettered and ruled in gilt. a1-a4, 1-39; [2], 1-24; 1-131 pp. Very well preserved, the text surprisingly clean and still unpressed, minor edge wear to the title-page and endleaves, the binding sturdy and strong but with minor age to the extremities and evidence of earlier expert sophistication. THE FIRST MAJOR WORK OF HISTORICAL IMPORTANCE BY THE MAN JOHN MILTON CALLED "THE CHIEF OF LEARNED MEN REPUTED IN THIS LAND." It is also work for which Seldon was also praised as the "monarch of letters" by his friend Ben Jonson. Jonson's three page verses to his friend Selden are printed in the preliminaries. First published in 1614, this treatise on the titles of nobility, peerage law, heraldry and genealogy remained the most comprehensive work on the subject for centuries. This second edition is expanded by the author and includes further discourses on England. But the work goes well beyond England and Europe and includes Islamic lands and China. Revising the second edition created political ramifications for Selden. In investigating the origins of England’s political structure, Selden argued that the king had always been advised by assemblies, whether it be a “witenagemot” or a “parliament,” Norman conquest notwithstanding. By asserting such long-standing precedents for regular meetings, Selden signaled his opposition to the country's current political situation. The reigning king, Charles I, had called a Parliament out of necessity to raise funds in 1628, but then suspended it to avoid making concessions. The suspension lasted ten years. Selden was among the members of that session of Parliament imprisoned upon its dissolution. Selden may have used this enforced leisure time to complete this second edition.
      [Bookseller: Buddenbrooks, Inc.]
Last Found On: 2013-07-26           Check availability:      Biblio    

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